The MOLE66 virus is the newest variant of the Cryptomix malware family. It was recently discovered in an ongoing attack campaign that is spread using different methods. Once it has compromised a target computer it would encrypt the users data with the .mole66 extension and extort the victims for a ransom fee.
|Short Description||The MOLE66 virus is a Cryptomix strain that encrypts user data, encrypts it with the .MOLE66 extension and extorts the victims for a ranosm fee payment.|
|Symptoms||Computer users will be unable to access their data which is encrypted with the .MOLE66 extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss MOLE66.|
MOLE66 Virus – Infection Spread
The Mole66 virus is newly released strain of the Cryptomix malware family which is being launched against victims worldwide. At the moment there is no information about the perpetrators, whether it is an individual hacker or a criminal collective.
The Cryptomix family and most of its strains are frequently delivered via spam messages. The most commonly used method is to send hyperlinks that lead to the virus infections. As always the hackers use social engineering tactics that attempt to coerce the victims into falling for the malware. A common way of doing so is by taking the text and graphics of famous sites and designing email messages that look like identical copies of them. The other method is to directly attach the Mole66 virus files to the messages.
Another convenient way to infect users on a mass scale is to spread the script directly onto payload files. In the last few years two file types have become the most widely used ones:
- Infected Documents — The criminals embed the code into macros and the files can be of various types: rich text documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the intended users a notification screen appears that asks them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done then the threat will be downloaded from an external site and executed on the local computer.
- Malware Installers — The hackers can the installer files of famous applications from their official vendors: utilities, creative apps and games. They are frequently placed on sites that imitate the legitimate download portals.
An effective solution that can be used with the MOLE66 virus is to embed the malware code into browser hijackers. They are malware browser plugins that claim to add beneficial features to the applications, while at the same time redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page and harvest their personal data. The hackers use fake credentials, user reviews and an elaborate description in order to attract more interest. Furthermore the strains are available for the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
The hackers can also create fraud download portals and various web scripts such as banners, pop-ups and etc.
MOLE66 Virus – Technical Data
The security analysis reveals that the MOLE66 virus is a new malware strain that is descendant from the Cryptomix family. It is very possible that the hacker or criminal collective behind it have acquired it from the black market.
The customized version does not follow the advanced behavior patterns found with other malware. We expect to see modules like the stealth protection which can protect the virus from being discovered by installed security software. The initial infection engine is programmed to scan for signatures belonging to anti-virus products, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments. They are usually bypassed or entirely removed from the system. Some viruses also opt to delete themselves if they are unable to complete this step, this is done in order to avoid detection.
The next component that can be started is the data harvesting one. It is usually programmed to scan the whole contents of the infected machine for sensitive information. It is classified into two main groups:
- Anonymous Metrics — They are usually composed of information about the hardware components, the operating system configuration and certain region settings values.
- Private Data — The MOLE66 virus can be programmed into revealing data that can be used to reveal the victim’s identity — their name, address, interests, location, passwords and account credentials.
The next step would be to cause various system changes to the infected system, such steps lead to a persistent state of execution that makes it very difficult for the victims to restore their machines manually. The virus engine can impact the Windows registry, this can lead to application issues and overall perforamnce disruption. The ransomware can also impact the boot options thereby removing the possibility to boot into the startup recovery menu. That security analysis reveals that the Mole66 virus is programmed to delete all found Shadow volume copies of user data.
Advanced versions of the MOLE66 virus can institute a network connection with the hacker-controlled servers. When this is done the malware criminals may overtake control of the victim machines at any given time and spy on the users in real time. The network connection can deliver additional threats if such are intended.
MOLE66 Virus – Encryption Process
The ransomware module is started after all previous components have finished executing. Like previous Cryptomix variants it uses a prefenied list of target file type extensions:
One all victim data has been processed it receives the .MOLE66 extension. A ransomware note is crafted in a file called _HELP_INSTRUCTIONS_.TXT which reads the following:
!!!All your files are encrypted!!!
What to decipher write on mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not move or delete files!!!!
—- Your ID: ***** —-
!!! You have 3 days otherwise you will lose all your data.!!!
Remove MOLE66 Virus and Restore Your Files
If your computer got compromised and is infected with the MOLE66 ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written below.
What is MOLE66 Ransomware?
MOLE66 is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
Can MOLE66 Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like MOLE66?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does MOLE66 Infect?
Via several ways.MOLE66 Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment.
This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way you may become a victim of MOLE66 is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to Open .MOLE66 files?
You can't. At this point, the .MOLE66 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .MOLE66 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".MOLE66" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .MOLE66 files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of MOLE66 Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate MOLE66 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .MOLE66 files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like MOLE66 ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can MOLE66 Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the MOLE66 Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this MOLE66 how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
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